Role Of Social Cash Transfer In Nutrition In Salima District Of Malawi

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Role Of Social Cash Transfer In Nutrition In Salima District Of Malawi
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL Of Social Cash Transfer In​Nutritionin Salima District Of Malawi .pdf?sequence=4
Social cash transfers are attracting growing interest from national governments and multilateral donors, as key tools in achieving the Millennium Development Goals due to their role in improving human development, as well as in reducing hunger and tackling extreme poverty and vulnerabilities The Malawi Government included social protection in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy which is the road map in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Malawi social protection programme targets labour constrained and poor households, which lack social security for everyday social and economic needs. Many poor households have inadequate access to food resulting in the problem of malnutrition due to poor intake of nutrients in terms of quality and quantity. The Malawi Government has implemented Social Cash Transfer Programme since 2006, but to date the impact of the initiative on nutrition remains unknown.
A comparative cross sectional study was carried out in August 2011 in Salima District of Malawi on a randomly selected sample size of 264 households to determine the role played by social cash transfer on nutrition. Using a semi-structured questionnaire, data were collected on demographic status, socio – economic status, a 24hr household dietary diversity score and anthropometric measurement for the under-five children found in the households. Results were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the differences between the households benefiting from the social cash transfer programme and those that were eligible but were not yet in the programme with p = 0.05 being considered as the statistically significant level of difference.
Results showed that there was difference in terms of percentage allocation of household resources for food, agriculture and education (p = .000, p = .007 and p = .003 respectively) with households in the programme allocating more to education than to food and agriculture. Households that were in the Social Cash Transfer Programme had a higher dietary diversity score than those that were not in the programme but were eligible to be in the programme (p = .000).
Nutrition indicators for the under five children in terms of wasting (7.2 percent for programme and 3.2 percent for non programme), underweight (12.5 percent for programme and 13.7 percent for non programme) and stunting (50 percent for programme and 44.4 percent for non programme) were high and showed no significant differences (p = .490, p = .862and p = .670 respectively) between programme and non programme households. Social Cash Transfer Programme therefore played no role in improving nutrition status of under-five children despite high dietary diversity score in programme households. It is therefore recommended that the social protection interventions should be integrated with nutrition education in order to curb malnutrition as adequate nutrition is a prerequisite for national development.

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